Atari: Visual History of the Atari 8-bit Computer – Review

This article is from Retro Games Collector. Click the title to hop over there.

As a massive Atari fan with a large Atari collection of my own, I was thrilled when Greyfox Books sent me a copy of Atari: Visual History of the Atari 8-bit Computer for review. I was not to be disappointed.

The book I was sent was a hardcover and is a hefty 420 full-colour pages absolutely jam-packed full of information and images. It really is a technicolour feast for the eyes and it is clear from the off that this book is the result of a lot of painstaking research and work by its author Darren Doyle.

Visual History of the Atari 8-bit Computer
Visual History of the Atari 8-bit Computer
Visual History of the Atari 8-bit Computer
Visual History of the Atari 8-bit Computer
Visual History of the Atari 8-bit Computer

Between the covers

Having ‘Visual History’ in the title does this book a small disservice. Such books are usually coffee table books – a book that you will just pick up, look at a few pictures of your favourite games, think “ooh, I remember that…” then put down again. This book manages to be just that but also balances the pages and pages of fantastic software reviews with a wealth of articles. These include information on the Atari 8-bit computer range, their peripherals and revealing pieces by programmers and ex-Atari employees, all of which happily makes this a book with subtance past its slightly misleading title.

The pages of software reviews are cleverly laid out to make the most of the space, managing to squeeze in box art, screenshots and review text without looking cluttered. The reviews themselves include a synopsis of both the history of the game and the gameplay itself and get to the point without being too wordy. Some reviews are worded by the authors of the games themselves which adds an interesting perspective.

In Summary

This is a book that would have been split into 3 volumes by anyone else. As such it represents fantastic value for money and the sheer amount of information within its pages is staggering. Whether you are an Atari fan or not, the anecdotes from industry luminaries just add credence to an already fascinating and well penned insight into the Atari 8-bit world and I cannot recommend this book enough.

The Visual History of the Atari 8-bit Computer is available from Greyfox Books:

https://www.greyfoxbooks.com/product/the-atari-a-visual-history/

Original post can be found at Retro Games Collector
Atari: Visual History of the Atari 8-bit Computer – Review

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